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Business Cycle Expansions and Contractions

Hi, I need help answering the following questions below please. I am really not sure how to go about answering these. Any help would be appreciated.

Go to the National Bureau of Economic Research website, "Business Cycle Expansions and Contractions." From the data given in the table,
1) Describe the business cycles for the period of March 1991 to the most recent month.
2) What conclusions can you draw about this period by comparing this cycle to the previous business cycles? You may want to check the links to the two most recent Announcement Dates for further information.

Solution Preview

Hi, I can see how this can be confusing. I'm going to keep it simple: giving you the general trends from the table from 1991 to the most recent announcement available, which seems to be September of 2010.

- March 1991: Development of a recession - the 80's boom was officially over. The recession was weak, and recovery occurred fairly rapidly in 1991. It seems that industrial production was the problem, reaching its low for the period in early 1991.

- March 2001: Period of a peak in business activity. In the previous 6 recessions, unemployment fell by 1.1% each time on average, while industrial production, on average fell almost 5%. By the end of 2000, industrial production had taken a severe nose dive. Income, however, did rise slightly in this period. This is not about rising incomes, but rather the ability of households to tighten their belts when a recession hits.

- November 2001: This was the lowest point in the year. From that point on, however, expansion could be seen. Employment, since it's a lagging indicator, did not change (that is, employment is a later response to an expansion). The end of 2001 saw substantial GDP growth. By December, the economy was growing rapidly. Yet, unemployment rose at the end of ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines business cycle expansions and contractions.